Progressive Democrats Almost Halt Progress on Crucial Biparty Infrastructure Bill


In August, all Senate Democrats and 38% of Senate Republicans, encouraged by President Biden, passed a truly bipartisan infrastructure bill, officially the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act, with 69 Senators joining together to invest in roads, bridges and public transit.

Three months later, and it was only after a backlash from voters at the polls, that House Democrats managed to pass the exact same legislation. However, the opposition here was bipartisan, with the hardest, most left-wing core of progressive Democrats siding with nearly all Republicans. Sadly only 6% of the House GOP, or just 13 members, did the right thing and we salute them, especially their biggest bloc, the New York Four: Nicole Malliotakis, Andrew Garbarino, John Katko and Tom Reed.

New Yorkers also stood out on the wrong side, with two Bronxites whose infrastructure in the borough needs considerable work, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, viciously saying no because they wanted to tie their minds together. votes on Biden’s social spending plan, which is still being cut. in the Senate. The outright opposition from them and their ideological allies delayed the package for months and it would have failed Friday night without the sane Republicans. They certainly haven’t learned anything from the Democrats’ poor performance with voters last week.

Now that this becomes law, one wonders if the price to pay is really $ 1.2 trillion, as $ 650 billion is a continuation of existing programs. But there is $ 550 billion in new spending over five years. The $ 39 billion for transit should have been more, but the MTA is forecasting $ 10 billion to come, even though there is nothing for operations. We are concerned about the $ 66 billion for Amtrak because the railroad has a very poor track record of smart or efficient construction. Billions for upgrades to the northeast corridor are expected to be donated to state-run commuter lines that carry 95% of NEC passengers.

Even though rail is a microscopic presence in most states, Amtrak specializes in nice talking senators. And Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is no exception. Schumer should choose New York over Amtrak.

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